I’m not going to defend the AIG bonuses. But I find the criticism in Congress ironic: How about Congress return its six-figure salaries, along with the regulators, for helping to create this god awful situation in the first place, because no one was being a “watchdog”?
This belongs in the “gimme a break” department. Let’s hope the press catches on.
I’ve often wondered why some newspapers aren’t more candid in informing readers about their financial woes. It’s no secret to the readers that their newspapers are struggling — much lighter editions, for example.
Transparency leads to credibility, and credibility leads to a tighter bond between newspapers and their readers.
Having said that, some outsiders jump to conclusions too quickly, assuming that *all* newspapers are folding or *all* newspapers will go online. That’s wrong too: some newspaper’s problems are more dire than others.
The issue is often complex and “gray,” not “black or white.”
Still, being upfront with readers about the woes is the best course of action.
The layoffs and budget cutbacks at our public schools are generating a surge in inquiries for many of our area’s private schools.
They report more parents are calling than usual, inquiring about enrollment next year. Private school tuition here is a relative bargain compared with many larger communities.
The classroom size is smaller, and teachers have public-school credentials. Many parents also worry that friction between the public school administrators and the teacher’s union — while understandable — is not in the best interest of their children.
Private schools have suffered their own plights, however: the closure of Sierra Christian school in Nevada City in January, for example.
Declining enrollment will force an ongoing restructuring of our schools. It is the price we play for not diversifying our economy beyond retirement and tourism.
We need to attract more families and higher-paying jobs, as I’ve written many times before. Can we?
As I’ve been blogging this month, Sierra College is stepping up efforts to hire local contractors for its campus expansion here. Meetings are ongoing.
The Rood Center also said it wants to learn from Sierra College’s efforts.
In a tangible step a legal notice titled “Request for Qualifications” appears in The Union this morning reading, “The district desires to work with western Nevada County contractors and will give preference to those contractors.”
Proposals are due March 24. The posting, stemming from a voter approved expansion called Measure G, also is online at Sierra College’s Web site. Expect a flood of applicants.
Let’s hope this helps jump start our local economy, putting some more local contractors to work. They are among the largest industries here.
Meanwhile, Obama’s stimulus plan for roadwork and other projects is facing roadblocks in some communities, thanks to red tape and other challenges, as the Wall Street Journal reports.
The county’s wish list for “shovel-ready” projects was blogged here.
I keep hearing such speculation in the wake of Grass Valley attorney and Loan Sense businessman Thomas Hastert’s arrest for allegedly “brazenly deceiving” investors and borrowers in our county and neighboring ones.
Seventy-three criminal counts were filed against Hastert in Nevada County Superior Court last month for alleged embezzlement, securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false documents.
Hard-money loans — financing where a borrower receives funds secured by the value of a parcel of real estate — were commonplace in the go-go days. Many of the deals unraveled when the market plunged.
Hastert alone allegedly brokered more than 270 hard-money loans.
The investigation into the Hastert case is ongoing. Investigators often have a hard time with these cases unless victims come forward.
“White collar” crime is tedious and time-consuming work, requiring special expertise. But it often touches a lot of people, so it is worth the time.